Long ago, way before I developed neurofibromatosis, I wanted to be a psychologist to help people. I just wanted to help people with no concern about the salary. Later in my teens, I considered majoring in social work in college and serve the community humbly. I knew pay would not be much. I would be happy and contented with modest living.

Then my genetic condition caused me to lose my physical abilities gradually and had to make use of any abilities I have left like when I lost my hearing, I learned to write better. When my body became more restricted, I learned to be patient and gentle like an ideal social worker. When my left vocal chord became paralyzed and my throat muscles weakened, I learned to speak succinctly and movingly with a few words.

So happens, as my physical abilities diminished, I became an uncommon person with uncommon abilities that garners attention, support, and contributions.

Some of my friends think I am an entrepreneurial and smart in making money.

It is not so. I am not doing what I am doing for money’s sake.

I am just an uncommon person, making whatever I do uncommon too.

If I did not have neurofibromatosis, I would be contented with humble living, humble and ordinary living.


Yvonne Foong

As a child, Yvonne Foong dreamed of growing up to help others. To achieve her ambition, she began studying to become a psychologist. But things changed when tumours were discovered in her body at the age of sixteen. She was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2 -- a genetic illness with no cure. Fighting for survival, Yvonne turned to fundraising and embarked on a medical odyssey to the United States. Her experiences since then have transformed her into a motivational speaker; inspiring hope, faith and strength. Yvonne is currently working to establish a humanitarian foundation that provides NF patients in Malaysia with financial and logistical support. Visit Works of Gratitude to learn more.

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